American to debut reconfigured 767 in April

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Updated with IFE details

American Airlines will debut its first reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with new lie-flat business class seats on 1 April.

The aircraft is configured with 28 business seats, 25 premium economy seats and 156 economy seats for a total of 209 passengers, the Fort Worth, Texas-based Oneworld alliance carrier says.

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American Airlines

The retrofitted aircraft have a similar “look and feel” to American’s Boeing 777-300ER interiors, Alice Liu, managing director of onboard product at the airline, told Flightglobal in January. The 777 cabins emphasise grey and brown colour tones.

The first 767-300ER will enter service on American’s New York JFK to Zurich flight on 1 April, with up to half of the 58 aircraft in its fleet – up to 29 aircraft – retrofitted by the end of 2015.

The airline plans to retire the remaining 767-300ERs.

American has adjusted some of the seat numbers on the aircraft since it disclosed the retrofits in May 2012. At the time, it said the 767-300ERs would have 209 seats split roughly 28 business, 14 premium economy and 167 economy. Some economy seats were dropped in favour of premium economy during the intervening period.

Retrofits are also planned for the carrier’s 47 777-200 aircraft. American declines to comment on when these will enter service.

In January, Liu said that both the updated 767-300ERs and 777-200s would enter service later in 2014.

American plans to drop first class from the 777-200s in favour of a denser two-class configuration with seating for up to 260 passengers. The aircraft hold 243 passengers currently.

In terms of inflight entertainment, American will provide Samsung Galaxy tablets to each passenger in the business class cabin and provide drop down digital screens to passengers in the economy cabin.

The economy entertainment options will place American behind its US competitors Delta Air Lines and United Airlines who offer personal seatback screens at each seat in their updated 767 cabins.